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Sierra Leone Classical Music Composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor

Classical Music of Africa

The Most Famous African Classical Music Composer is Sierra Leone Samuel Coleridge Taylor.

Sierra Leonean Coleridge Taylor African Classical Music Phenom

Little Known Facts About Sierra Leone Samuel Coleridge Taylor African Classical Music Phenom

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Sierra Leone Samuel Coleridge Taylor Most  Famous Classical Music Composition is the Song of Hiawatha

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor 1875-1912 was born in Croydon, the son of a white English mother and a father from Sierra Leone. As a violin scholar at the Royal College of Music, he was taught composition under Charles Villiers Stanford and soon developed a reputation as a composer, with Edward Elgar recommending him to the Three Choirs festival in 1896. By the time he died of pneumonia aged only 37 he had already toured America three times and performed for Theodore Roosevelt at the White House.

At the age of five Samuel began playing the violin and joined the choir of a Presbyterian church in Croydon, where H.A. Walters guided his progress and arranged his admittance to the Royal College of Music in 1890.

Compositions such as Coleridge-Taylor’s African Suite attempted to incorporate African influences in the same way that, say, Dvorák used Hungarian folk themes, but much more successful is Hiawatha’s Wedding, which is occasionally performed today. Even better are Coleridge-Taylor’s works for violin and orchestra, which are elegant pieces of fin de siècle romanticism.

In 1898, Coleridge-Taylor was fresh from his success with his orchestral Ballade in A minor, which was performed at the Three Choirs Festival of 1898 after Edward Elgar had recommended him as "far and away the cleverest fellow going amongst the younger men". Having been greatly inspired by his reading of Longfellow's epic poem The Song of Hiawatha (even later naming his own son Hiawatha), he decided to set the words to music in a choral work called Hiawatha's Wedding Feast.

List of works by Samuel Coleridge Taylor

Works With Opus Number

Op.1 - Piano Quintet (1893)

Sierra Leone Classical Music Composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor

Op.2 - Nonet (1893)

Op.3 - Suite for Violin and Piano

Op.4 - Ballade in D Minor for Violin and Orchestra (1895)

Op.5 - 5 Fantasiestücke for String Quartet (1895)

Op.6 - Little Songs for Little Folks (1898)

Op.7 - Zara's Earrings for Solo Voice (1895)

Op.8 - Symphony in A Minor (1896. Premiered(?) 6 March 1896)

Op.9 - 2 Romantic Pieces for Violin and Piano

Op.10 - Clarinet Quintet in F Sharp minor

Op.11 - [Not used]

Op.12 - 5 Love Songs (1896)

Op.13 - String Quartet in D Minor (1896) (lost)

Op.14 - Legende for Violin and Orchestra (1897)

Op.15 - Land of the Sun, Song (1897)

Op.16 - 3 Hiawathan Sketches for Violin and Piano (1896)

Op.17 - 7 African Romances, Songs (1897)

Op.18 - Morning and Evening Service (1899)

Op.19 - 2 Moorish Tone-pictures for Piano (1897)

Op.20 - Gipsy Suite for Violin and Piano (1897)

Op.21 - 2 Partsongs

Op.22 - 4 Characteristic Waltzes for Orchestra (1899)

Op.23 - Valse Caprice for Violin and Piano (1898)

Op.24 - In Memoriam, 3 Songs (1898)

Op.25 - Dream Lovers, Operatic Romance (1898)

Op.26 - The Gitanos, Cantata-Operetta (1898)

Op.27 - [Not used]

Op.28 - Violin Sonata in D Minor

Op.29 - 3 Songs

Op.30 - Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha (1898/99)

Op.31 - 3 Humoresques for Piano (1897)

Op.32 - [Not used]

Op.33 - Ballade in A Minor for Orchestra (1898)

Op.34 - [Not used?]

Op.35 - African Suite for Piano (1898)

Op.36 - [Not used]

Op.37 - 6 Songs (1899)

Op.38 - 3 Silhouettes for Piano (1897)

Op.39 - Romance in G Major for Violin and Orchestra (1899)

Op.40 - Solemn Prelude for Orchestra (1899)

Op.41 - 4 Scenes from an Everyday Romance, Suite for Orchestra (1900)

Op.42 - The Soul's Expression, 4 Sonnets (1900)

Op.43 - The Blind Girl of Castél-Cuillé (1901)

Op.44 - Idyll for Orchestra (1901)

Op.45 - 6 American Lyrics (1903)

Op.46 - Toussaint l'Ouverture (1901)

Op.47 - Herod, Incidental Music

Op.48 - Meg Blane, Rhapsody

Op.49 - Ulysses, Incidental Music (1901-02)

Op.50 - 3 Song-Poems (1905)

Op.51 - Ethiopia Saluting the Colours, March

Op.52 - 4 Noveletten for Strings, Tambourine and Triangle (1903)

Op.53 - The Atonement, Sacred Cantata (1903)

Op.54 - 5 Choral Ballads (1904)

Op.55 - Moorish Dance for Piano (1904)

Op.56 - 3 Cameos for Piano (1904)

Op.57 - 6 Sorrow Songs (1904)

Op.58 - 4 African Dances for Violin and Piano (1904)

Op.59 - 24 Negro Melodies for Piano (1905)

Op.59 - Romance for Violin and Piano (1904)

Op.60 - Unknown

Op.61 - Kubla Khan, Rhapsody (1906)

Op.62 - Nero, Incidental Music (1906)

Op.63 - Symphonic Variations on an African Air for Orchestra (1906)

Op.64 - 4 Scenes de Ballet for Piano (1906)

Op.65 - Endymion's Dream, Cantata (1910)

Op.66 - 5 Forest Scenes for Piano (1907)

Op.67 - 3 Partsongs (1905)

Op.68 - Bon-Bon Suite, Cantata (1908)

Op.69 - Sea Drift, Choral Rhapsody (1908)

Op.70 - Faust, Incidental Music (1908)

Op.71 - Three-Fours, Valse Suite for Piano (1909)

Op.72 - Thelma

Op.73 - Ballade for Violin and Piano (1907)

Op.74 - Scenes from an Imaginary Ballet (1910)

Op.75 - The Bamboula, Rhapsodic Dance (1910)

Op.76 - A Tale of Old Japan, Cantata (1911)

Op.77 - Petite Suite de Concert for Orchestra (1911)

Op.78 - 3 Impromptus for Organ (1913)

Op.79 - Othello, Incidental Music (1910-11)

Op.80 - Violin Concerto (1912)

Op.81 - 2 Songs

Op.82 - Hiawatha, Ballet

Op.82 - Minnehaha, Suite

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Works Without Opus Number

A lovely little Dream for Strings

8 Anthems

Sierra Leone Classical Music Composer Samuel Coleridge TaylorClarinet Sonata in F Minor (1893) (Lost)

Eulalie (1904)

Fantasiestück in A Major for Cello and Orchestra (1907)

5 Fairy Ballads, Songs (1909)

From the Prairie, Rhapsody for Orchestra

Interlude for Organ

Papillon for Piano (1908)

Piano Sonata in C Minor

Piano Trio in E Minor (1893)

3 Short Pieces for Organ (1898)

2 Songs (1909)

2 Songs (1916)

5 Songs of Sun and Shade

St. Agnes Eve, Incidental Music (1912)

Te Deum (1890)

The Clown and the Columbine, Melodrama

Viking Song

Variations on an Original Theme

Variations for Cello and Piano (1918)

Did you know? Florence B Price 1887-1953 was the first African American woman to have a work played by a major orchestra the Chicago Symphony premiered her Symphony in E minor in 1933, but despite success during her lifetime, her many compositions are rarely played today.

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